Final Brexit deal is within grasp, says PM after breakthrough in Brussels

Theresa May has declared that final agreement on Brexit is “within our grasp” following a breakthrough agreement on future relations between the UK and EU.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister said a political declaration on post-Brexit relations agreed with Brussels is “the right plan for the UK” which will set the country on course for a brighter future.

The draft declaration was agreed in principle on Thursday morning, after negotiators worked through the night on new directions issued by Mrs May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker when they met in the Belgian capital on Wednesday evening.

The breakthrough cleared the way for a special summit in Brussels on Sunday, at which leaders of the remaining 27 EU states are expected to give their stamp of approval to both the future framework and a separate withdrawal agreement setting out the terms of the UK’s departure.

Mrs May briefed members of her Cabinet on the new text in a conference call and was addressing MPs in a statement to the House of Commons later in the day.

Speaking outside Number 10, she said: “This is the right deal for the UK. It delivers on the vote of the referendum, it brings back control of our borders, our money and our laws and it does so while protecting jobs, protecting our security and protecting the integrity of the United Kingdom.”

Confirming that she would return to Brussels on Saturday for further talks with Mr Juncker ahead of the summit, she added: “The British people want this to be settled, they want a good deal that sets us on course for a brighter future.

“That deal is within our grasp and I am determined to deliver on it.”